. >>> a big trial in italy capturing global attention. the pope's former butler is accused of stealing thousands of private papal document. on tuesday he told the court why he did it. nbc's michelle kosinski is in rome this morning. michelle, good morning to you. >> reporter: hi, david, yeah. here we have the pope's right-hand man accused of stealing the pope's personal letters and documents, copying them, leaking them to the press. when this first broke it was described like something out of a shadowy novel full of high-level intrigue, but now it kind of reads more like a bizarre heist. this was paulo gabriele in his coveted role, one of pope benedict's closest aides. now the butler is the accused in the vatican courtroom charged with stealing a large number of the pope's personal letters and documents, some refer to infighting over things like construction contracts, alleged cronyism and transparency, a rare peek inside vatican justice. gabriele has admitted taking the documents but testified he doesn't feel guilty of a crime, only betraying the trust of a man he loves like a father.